Summary: This is a big area, and it involves giving your children a wise and biblical perspective socially, economically, educationally, and morally. It is no wonder that it is so easy to fail as a father. You have to know how to live wisely and godly yourself in order to be an effective teacher and guide.
A teacher took her class of young boys and girls to the zoo where
they were seeing many animals for the first time. They came to one
large enclosed area, and the teacher pointed to the graceful
inhabitants and said, "Children, that is what your mother always calls
your father." One little guy in disbelief said, "Don't tell me that is a
louse!" Sometimes that girl that married dear old dad is not very
complimentary, and often times children can be very embarrassing in
letting this truth be known.
The fact is, fathers are a very abused and degraded class of
people. Adlai Stevenson in a speech before the National Father's Day
committee in 1961 said, "There was a time when father amounted to
something in the United States..... In recent years, however,
especially since World War II, father has come upon sorry times. He
is the but of the comic strips; he is the boob of the radio and TV
serials; and the favorite stooge of all our professional comedians. In
short, life with father seems to have degenerated into a continuous
sequence of disrespect or tolerance at best."
Obviously there are many poor specimens of fatherhood that
deserve condemnation, and even contempt, but this is true of every
class of people, including mothers. Yet few, if any, dare to express
disrespect for mothers, but there is no hesitation when it comes to
fathers. Mother has it all over dad when it comes to poetry and
praise. For example, in the hymnal we use we have several special
hymns for mothers, but for Father's Day there is only Faith Of Our
Fathers, which does not refer to our literal fathers at all, but to our
fathers in the faith. Fatherhood in hymnology is just generally
ignored, and this is true in spite of the fact that the Bible supports the
exclamation of Wordsworth who said, "Father! To God Himself we
cannot give a holier name."
Clovis Chappell, the well-known Methodist preacher and author of
dozens of books, says he searched for some Father's Day songs and
could find only two, and both of them were negative. One was
Everybody Works But Father, and the other went like this:
Dad, dad, dad, the dear old worthless geezer,
The fusses I have had with that old patience teaser!
He lacks the spirit of a mouse,
Most anyone can down him.
We let him hang around the house,
Tis cheaper than to drown him.
In many families the father is little more than a necessary nuisance
handy to have around when something has to be fixed.
Father is a fixture, much needed in the home,
Although he wears no halo above a balding dome.
As general fixer-upper he makes a handsome bluff.
There's nothing he won't tackle-if pestered long enough.
We could go on looking at the negative aspects of fatherhood, but
it will be more profitable to turn our attention to the positive
possibilities of fatherhood. The negative is real, but it is one of those
aspects of reality that ought not to be, but which will cease to be until
fatherhood is restored to a place of respect. This can only happen as
fathers learn to fulfill their duties as God intended. This is no easy
task, and greater men than any of us have failed. Men of God like Eli
the priest, who sons were blasphemers, and God had to destroy them.
David was a man after God's own heart, and he reached the peak of
success as a soldier, king, and poet, but he was a failure as a father.
In spite of these failures, however, the Bible exalts fatherhood, and
gives the father a place of respect, honor, and influence that is
unsurpassed. Edith Deen in her book Family Living In The Bible
says, "From beginning to end, the Bible depicts fathers as teachers of
their children and guardians of the family's spiritual riches." The
average modern father fails to take this responsibility in the home,
and that is why fatherhood has lost respect. The modern father feels
incapable, inferior, and inadequate for his task. The Expositor's
Bible says, a father who abdicates the throne on which God has set
him, who forgoes the honor which God has given him, or turns it into
dishonor, must one day answer for his base renunciation before the
It is important, therefore, that fathers be informed on this job
description. In the passage of the Proverbs we find the essence of the
father's duties. It is a job description for the man who would be a
successful father. Alexander Maclaren wrote, "The precepts of this
passage may be said to sum up the teachings of the whole book of
Proverbs." We can't begin to cover it thoroughly, but we want to